The Wall Street Journal Reports that New York Department of Financial Services Is Probing Shaky Legal Ground for NRA Carry Guard Insurance
Probe is Based on Everytown Investigation and Analysis of Carry Guard
NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown, released the following statements today after the Wall Street Journal reported that the New York Department of Financial Services is investigating the legality of the NRA’s marketing and fees in connection with its Carry Guard insurance product, including investigating the role of Chubb Insurance and Lockton Affinity. NRA Carry Guard promises to provide insurance coverage for legal and other costs for gun owners who shoot someone and claim self-defense.
The disclosure of the New York investigation follows an investigation and legal analysis of NRA Carry Guard by Everytown, which was shared with law enforcement and regulators in New York and elsewhere.
STATEMENT FROM ERIC TIRSCHWELL, LITIGATION DIRECTOR, EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“The New York Department of Financial Services is right to investigate the NRA’s ‘Carry Guard’ insurance. Apart from the troubling nature of the product, there are serious legal questions about whether the NRA is violating insurance and possibly other consumer laws, which is why we shared our concerns with law enforcement and regulators.”
STATEMENT FROM SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“NRA Carry Guard proves that for the NRA’s leadership, no idea is too absurd, reckless or depraved. For years, NRA lobbyists have pushed to allow guns for anyone, anywhere, any time – no questions asked. Now they’ve figured out how to profit from gun owners concerned about being accused of murder. Carry Guard is just more proof that NRA leaders will do anything for money.”
The Everytown investigation into Carry Guard shared with regulators showed:
- Beginning earlier this year, the NRA has been aggressively using the internet, emails, commercials and videos to promote NRA Carry Guard, a training and insurance program that purports to provide comprehensive insurance for gun owners who shoot someone and claim self-defense.
- There is past legal precedent suggesting that organizations that are not licensed to sell insurance should use extreme caution in soliciting people to buy “affinity” insurance plans.
- Based on the analysis of a recent federal appeals court decision (Friedman v. AARP) and Everytown’s investigation, the NRA may be violating California Insurance and Unfair Competition law – and possibly the insurance law of other states, including New York – by actively soliciting the purchase of Carry Guard insurance without being licensed to do so.
- Examples of the explicit solicitation language the NRA has been using include “Get Carry Guard,” “Join Today,” “Sign up for NRA Carry Guard Today!,” “If you carry a gun you need this,” “I urge you to close this critical gap in your insurance coverage today,” and “Join the ranks.”
- It is also possible the NRA is improperly receiving commissions and/or excessive compensation in connection with this insurance product.
- For a one-year Bronze policy, the total annual charge is $154.95, with an “Administrative/Membership Fee” that goes to the NRA of $69.45, or about 45 percent of the total annual charge.
While that fee includes an annual NRA membership and some other minor perks, questions remain about whether the NRA is receiving an improper commission or excessive compensation.